Maui, the Nature Lover’s Paradise
Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and white sandy beaches combine to make Maui one of the most seductive spots in Hawaii.
An island surrounded by untouched dive sites, marked by massive beds of coral, resplendent forest and a warm people, Maui is every traveler’s dream.
Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and ranks third largest by population. Though Maui boast the third largest population of all the Hawaiian Islands, the population is smaller than one would expect, with just under 150,000 people. As such, visitors can enjoy the island’s attractions without the crowds.
Affectionately dubbed the “Valley Isle” for the large isthmus between its northwestern and southeastern volcanoes, Maui is spotted with large valleys through and small, quaint towns and artist communities offering sophisticated diversions, island amenities and airy resorts spread throughout the island.
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Imagine a warm, country side setting with untouched fauna and flora, complete with friendly folk and a general easy going and tranquil atmosphere and that a picture of Maui.
How to Get To Maui
The islands of Hawaii are generally accessed via the Honolulu International Airport (HNL) in Oahu. Once in Oahu, travellers may take a small aircraft to Kahului Airport (OGG), Maui’s main airport. In addition, there are smaller commuter airports in Kapalua (West Maui) and Hana (East Maui).
When to Go To Maui
Maui has a tropical wet and dry climate with a pronounced dry season in the high-sun months. There is however no cold season, but wet season is in the low-sun months. In general, apart from the wet and dry months, the weather is almost always bright and sunny, fitting for outdoor activities.
Summer, between April and November is warmer and thus the dry season while winter, between December and March, is a bit cooler and hence the wet season. Trade winds tend to keep things comfortable through the year.
Whale watching season begins in December and ends in May. Peak whale watching months are between January and early April. Winter is big wave surf season on Maui’s north shore.
Getting Around Maui
Getting around Maui is relatively easy as the island offers a few modes of transportation; the most popular among which is renting a vehicle including motorcycles and mopeds in addition to standard cars and vans. While there are several vehicle rental agencies around, most people choose to take up a rental at the Kahului Airport (OGG).
Maui features a fairly comprehensive set of highways, so finding travelling by oneself shouldn’t be too difficult with the aid of a map or GPS. However, for travellers with itineraries veer off the beaten path, most signs are often labeled in Hawaiian, as such the use of a map or GPS is highly recommended. Still, for those who prefer a chauffeur, private taxi services are available.
Being home to the city of Honolulu, finding a great accommodation options in Oahu is nearly never a problem.
The city boasts a wide array of accommodation options including villas, condos, boutiques, rental cottages, timeshares, bed and breakfasts hotels, and luxury resorts. Most options may be found in Waikiki, Honolulu’s busiest district.
Things to Do In Maui
From hiking the dormant Haleakala Volcano to soaking up the sun while lounging on one of the island’s beaches, Maui is all about having fun with nature. Popular activities include:
- Maui Adventures: Maui is an appeasing playground for the adventurous. Main activities for the daring including hiking and biking on the Haleakala Volcano, snorkeling, travelling the road to Hana, Piiholo/Skyline Ziplines, parasailing, sport fishing, scuba diving about the tropical reefs as well as helicopter tours of the island.
- Luauas: Luaus are traditional Hawaiian parties held all year round. There are several different types of luaus catering to different people.
- Going to the Beach: From the picturesque towns of the north to the quaint villages of the south, Maui is cradled by exceptional, aquamarine water. Tourists will find most activities along the south or west side. These beaches, including Makena Beach, Little Beach and Kama’ole Beach teem with visitors enjoying beach games, tanning and swimming. Along the rest of the coast, things are a bit more quiet and serene.
- Fishing: The waters of Maui are blessed with several varieties of marine fish. As such, several seasoned and exceptionally skilled fishermen ply the waters, many willing and ready to take visitors out to sea to experience the thrill of a good day’s catch.
Still, Maui isn’t just for beach-bums and sports lovers. In fact, Mau offers excellent historical and culture at sites such as Waianapanapa State Park, Banyan Tree Park and the Old Lahaina Luau. Other activities include:
- Special Events: Every year, Maui is host to several unforgettable events including the Hawaii Halloween and Maui Film Festival along with several concerts and shows.
- Whale Watching: During the winter, the waters surrounding the island teem with awe-inspiring schools of Hunchback whales which arrive in Maui to give birth or mate.
- Wine Ranch: For the wine afficionads, Maui’s Winery is a great place hasve a taste of Hawaii.
- Art Galleries: Art galleries featuring work done by several local as well as acclaimed international artists may be found in Lahaina, Wailea and Makawao.
- Maui Ocean Center: A massive aquarium at Maalaea Harbor, Maui Ocean Center gives visitors a chance to experience intimate interaction with marine life including starfish and baby turtles. The rest of the ocean may be viewed in a glass tunnel, offering close ups of tiger sharks, manta rays, jellyfish, etc.
Maui’s undeniable magic has earned it the local title, “Maui no ka ‘oi” is a Hawaiian saying that means, “Maui is the best. Indeed, this small Hawaiian island offers immense beauty and the serenity of nature that is guaranteed to provide an amazing vacation experience, leaving visitors forever enamored.
Should You Move to Maui?
All of the Hawaiian Islands are different. They each have their pros and cons, which we will briefly talk about at the end of this article.
Maui offers modern living conditions and all the amenities you could need. It is not quite the hustle and bustle that Oahu is but you’ll never have to worry about being isolated on the island of Maui. In fact, in many regards, it is a more popular vacation spot than Oahu.
I’ve come to realize that many first time visitors to Hawaii like to vacation on Oahu for Waikiki and all the attractions. Those that either come often or learn a little more about the Islands seem to choose to vacation on Maui.
Regardless of the Hawaiian Island you decide to live on you need to do some research on each island so that you ensure you’re happy there.
Population: 154,834 according to the 2010 census.
Population of Lahaina: 11,704
Climate: Maui has a mild, year round climate. The average temperature in December is 67 to 81 degrees while in August the average temperate is 74 to 88 degrees. As with the other Hawaiian Islands, Maui has several micro-climates. You can have hot weather on the beach and cold weather when hiking Haleakala in the same day if you’d like.
Housing Prices: Median price of houses that sold were 441,000 according to Zillow.com
Rental Prices: In Kihei, Maui the average price for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath is around $2,200. For a one bedroom, one bath in Maui you’re looking at no less than $1,500.
Hospitals: Maui Memorial Medical Center and Kula Hospital
Grocery Average Prices: As with the other Islands, you’re looking at somewhere between 30% and 40% more on groceries in Maui than on the mainland. Read our “How to Save Money Living in Hawaii” post!
Languages: English and Hawaiian. Slang Pidgin is spoken widely and there are circles of Japanese speaking areas in customer service.
Best Neighborhoods: Crime is very low in Maui (Hawaii by the numbers). The island can separated into the areas that are more “regions” than neighborhoods. South Maui has Wailea and Makena while West Maui has Kapalua and Lahaina.
- Haleakala: A dormant volcano that rises more than 10, 000 feet.
- The Road to Hana: Gorgeous views that you will never forget.
- Ho’Okipa Beach Park: Awesome surfing and windsurfing.
- Ohe’o Gulch Pools: “The Seven Sacred Pools” are a string of natural pools with gorgeous views and waterfalls.
- Business Center: Lahaina and Wailea
Move to Maui Pros and Cons:
- Gorgeous views
- Less congested than Oahu
- Live with the Stars
- Less developed than Oahu
- Less development means less amenities
- Touristy and congested in some spots
- Secluded from family and friends on mainland
- Limited restaurants in comparison to Oahu
Best Places to Live Maui
Napili-Honokowai is one of those places that has it all, as far as Island Living and Paradise goes. According to some ratings, Napili-Honokowai is actually the best place to live in the entire state of Hawaii. There’s a lot to be said for that. I mean, the best place to live in what could possibly the best state to live is a pretty hefty achievement.
With a tiny population of only 7,261, according to the latest US Census data, this town could be considered “quaint” but what does that really mean in a state with really only one city?
Napili-Honokowai Income Data for Age, Income and Housing
- The median resident age in Napili-Honokowai is 38.3 years in comparison to 39.6 years for the rest of Hawaii.
- The median household income in 2012 was $58,692 (up from $51,300 in 2000) and is slightly lower than the rest of Hawaii which sits at $66,259.
Median Gross Rent: $1231
- Median Cost of house or condo: $366,293 (rest of the state is $496,600)
According to Areavibes.com, Napili-Honokowai has a livability score of 79. Much like the rest of Hawaii, the town gets the grade of “A” for weather and housing and “F” in cost of living. Interesting to note that Napili-Honokowai’s education system only rated a “C” and only ranked #36 of best places to live in Hawaii, however, we disagree.
You can decide for yourself, though, if Napili-Honokowai is for you. We’ve provided the information below to help you.